Client: Four Housing
Dates: Feb 2015 – Dec 2015
Four Housing required the fire risk assessments to be undertaken in accordance with PAS 79, relevant Communities and Local Government guidance and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The fire risk assessments were to cover all communal areas including lifts, a sample of flats, laundry areas, boiler and plant rooms, roof and basement spaces, and other community group, property and areas.
Phil Ross was commission manager for the programme of Fire Risk Assessments across all of the Four Housing assets. This included the management and coordination of a team of consultants delivering the fire risk assessments and liaison with the Four Housing asset management team.
There were in excess of 150 properties in total, including general needs flats, supported housing schemes, sheltered accommodation and general offices and workshops.
Many of the properties fire risk assessed were challenging as buildings had been converted from their original designed purpose in the past and fire risk issues had not always been considered. These typically included buildings converted to be used as general needs blocks of flats, and supported housing schemes. When the alterations took place means of escape, passive fire protection and smoke control measures were often compromised.
The FRA delivery team worked closely with Four Housing to ensure that the planning and management of the work minimised lost time in respect of abandoned or incomplete site visits due to lack of access.
From experience we knew that delivery was more efficient by utilising a smaller team. This enabled improved sharing of information amongst the assessment team which led to a greater consistency of findings and where issues identified were considered to be subjective. This was a key client requirement established from the outset of the project.
Where we found consistent remedial actions across their property portfolio, we established with the client a standard response. These responses were built into the report database provided as part of the project scope, reducing the amount data input required, leading to improvements in both consistency and client understanding of issues contained in reports.
The commission management involved monthly progress meetings with the asset management team and liaison with building surveyors to obtain access to premises and arrange appointments for fire risk assessments.
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